New Anti-Bullying Program Will Soon Be Unveiled At Mall - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

New Anti-Bullying Program Will Soon Be Unveiled At The Ohio Valley Mall

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Victims of bullying can suffer anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.

And the news isn't good for the bullies either.

Statistics show they have a higher than average probability of crime, alcoholism and mental illness in adulthood.

So the Ohio Valley Mall is waging war against bullying.

The program outlines five ways to prevent bullying, and six things to do if you see someone being bullied.

This important information will be available at the Ohio Valley Mall through October.

Malls And Retailers Unite Against Bullying targets pre-schoolers through eight-year-olds, using a friendly cartoon shark named Captain McFinn.

"The Shark Patrol kit stands for Students Help Achieve Respect and Kindness," said Candi Noble-Greathouse, mall marketing manager. "When a child is caught being good, they get a sticker that says "Be A Buddy, Not A Bully."

There's a pledge to sign, fact sheets to take home, and a lesson plan in a treasure chest that will go to the winning school system in Belmont County, and others that can be purchased by teachers or schools.

The program is recommended by internationally known authors and educators.

And it was created by Phyllis Cafaro, the mother of the mall owners, out of concern for her own grandchildren.

It's a gentle, positive program based on rewards, not punishment.

"They read stories about Captain McFinn and Friends, they learn through the teacher's manual how to be a buddy not a bully, and that good behavior is rewarded," said Noble-Greathouse. "Children get to go to the treasure chest when they're caught being good."

Throughout October, parents and children will be invited to take part in an anti-bullying walk, sign decorating, and later, a costume party.

It's a simple concept that every kid can learn.

"Be A Buddy, Not A Bully!" says preschooler Ashlynn Blake of Belmont County.

The month-long program kicks off Thursday at 11 a.m. at the mall.

To support it, wear something blue.

Officials say blue is the color that represents anti-bullying.